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What do you put in your Gumbo?

I've been craving this lately, so I've been researching different recipes online. Most of them are red (tomato-based) however, I did have a white-based gumbo once about 15 years ago that was wildly good. Alas, I can't find a single recipe for that one online though.

So that leads meto ask, what do you put in your Gumbo?

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  1. I put Ham, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouoille. If I cannot get my hands on andouille, I'll throw in some smoked kielbasa. No okra--simply because my kids didn't like the okra in the gumbo when they were kids--although they will eat fried okra on the side. The only tomato that goes into my gumbo is two tablespoons of tomato paste. Along with the stock from the chicken, which had been previously boiled, I add some old bay seasoning and a dash or three of liquid smoke. Naturally I mix my green onion, celery and pepper with the very dark roux I make.
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...I gotta make some gumbo this week..thanks for the reminder!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jarona

      How long does it take you to cook the roux?

    2. I never add tomato. I prefer sea food gumbo with cracked crab ( suck the gumbo and meat right out of the shell pieces)
      It seems that today, Okra is almost a where/how one grows up.
      It's hard to believe that anyone raised in the south doesn't like okra(I grew up on the Texas Coast).
      Everyone that I knew ate it, but then again most everyone I knew liked buttermilk.

      1. Gumbo is nominated for dish of the month. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869782

        Vote for it if you would like to see it featured in October.

        1. oysters, sausage and sometimes shrimp.
          roux and okra and file

          1. Usually: Trinity, Andouille, Roasted chicken (spiced), black roux, chicken stock, spices
            Sometimes crawfish instead of chicken (or in addition)
            Never tomato

            I am not sure how long it takes to make the roux. I think about one beer's worth. I do it until it is almost black. using instructions from Chef Francoise le Vison. I now have an automatic stirring thingie and I might try that next time I make it.

            1. Roux, trinity, okra, andouille, stock, spices, and shrimp. No tomatoes. Maybe substitute in some chicken or fish. Occasionally I even add kale, depending on who is joining us for dinner.

              1. no tomatoes. brownpenny roux, trinity, thyme, andoullie, chicken, really good, gelled homemade chicken stock. okra if in season. half a bottle of crystal hot sauce.

                  1. re: ritabwh

                    Mixing butter and flour and cook until right before the mixture turns color to make a 'white' roux. Then use the white roux to make white gumble by avoid adding anything that will darken the dish.

                  2. Trinity, brick-red roux, garlic, homemade chicken or shrimp stock, these go without saying right?

                    Variables depend on what's on sale for cheap: dark meat chicken simmered until it falls off the bone, andouille, kielbasa, sliced mushrooms, hot chiles (to substitute for bell peppers), smoked turkey legs, crab, white fish fillets, bay leaf, cayenne, lots of thyme, sometimes some allspice.

                    1. Depends, typically tomatoes, okra, trinity, garlic, bay leaf, medium roux, andouille, stock and pork or chicken sometimes with shrimp.

                      Game meat or beef, dark roux, stock, andouille, trinity, garlic, bay leaf, file. It's very meaty.

                      Seafood (shrimp, crab, turtle, gator), dark roux, stock, a little tomato paste, trinity, andouille, garlic, bay leaf, file, sherry and lemon at the end.

                      1. I've never put tomato in my gumbo. I just brown some sausage (and I'll use any kind that's slightly spicy) to render its fat, add a little more oil if necessary, then add an equal amount of flour, whisk forever, then switch to a roux spoon and cook until it's almost chocolate colored. Then I add my trinity and cook until all the veggies are soft (sometimes add garlic, too). After that, the stock, seasonings, then the meats (sausage and chicken). After those are really tender, I'll add shrimp and sometimes okra.

                        I've never had a white gumbo. To me, the roux has to be nice and dark to add that distinctive flavor.

                        1. Well, gumbo is one of those dishes that has many iterations, and almost every cook has her/his own spin. (But this is the first time I've heard of white-based gumbo, yet another riff.)

                          I live in New Orleans; my father, however, came from a long line of bayou-dwelling Cajuns. Here, we make some (loose) distinctions between Cajun (associated with rustic, rural cooking) and Creole (associated with more "refined," city-fied cooking) gumbo. But the lines are often blurred.

                          Although Creole gumbo usually contains tomatoes (tomatoes are a feature of much Creole cuisine), it is not tomato-based--that is, tomatoes are an ingredient, but not a main one, say, in the way okra might be. I've never had a tomato-based or a really "red" gumbo. Most--but not all-gumbos start with a roux, the desired color of which gets much debate (and for some people just depends upon what proteins are going into the gumbo). Cajun gumbo tends to start with a pretty dark roux.

                          As to how long the roux takes: you can achieve the same result in a few minutes or 3/4 of an hour. I make roux by adding flour to very hot peanut oil (heated on high for 5 minutes) and whisking furiously until it reaches the desired darkness, a technique I learned from Paul Prudhomme's first cookbook. It's all over in a few minutes (but requires steely nerves--and a good, heavy-bottomed pot). My mother, OTOH, cooks hers for a long time on relatively low heat, and it browns gradually.

                          I made cajun seafood-andouille gumbo last week--dark brown roux, trinity, spices, herbs, garlic, seafood stock, andouille, shrimp, crab, oysters, I serve it with brown rice, topped with sliced scallions. Here's a photo, albeit a poor one.

                          My mother makes very different seafood gumbo--just a little medium brown roux, trinity, s & p, bay leaf, garlic, okra, a couple of chopped tomatoes, shrimp stock, shrimp, crab oysters. (She's a Yankee, and claims her MIL talk her how to make gumbo, but my dad told me many times, secretly, of course, that that was NOT his mother's gumbo. LOL.)

                          Really, you can find just about anything in gumbo, and people will call all sorts of things "gumbo." I was once served one in Michigan that was full of tomatoes--and beans!

                          1. Made gumbo last night. Yummy! No tomatoes in our gumbo. Just made a roux and added chicken broth, onions, chicken, andouille sausage, fish, shrimp and okra. And a little bit of celery.

                            1. There are definite mainstays in my gumbo: trinity, dark roux, thyme, 3 peppers, but main ingredients change with the seasons. Summer I might do shrimp, crab and chicken with a ton of okra. Fall I'm definitely doing duck and sausage with some filé on the side if we're late in the year. Come winter gumbo is often a clean-out-the-fridge meal that I especially love with potato salad. I'm agnostic on the topic of tomatoes. I rarely add them, but every now and again I will.